Posted: 3:40 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013
The University of Pittsburgh has announced the finalization for the 2013-14 regular season schedule. The Panthers will play a 31-game slate along with two preseason games. Nine of the games will be televised by either ESPN, ESPN 2, or CBS. Pitt will also be featured on ESPNU six times, along with many games featured on the ACC Network and ESPN regional. Pitt will play 18 conference games in their inaugural season as a member of the ACC.
The nonconference schedule appears to be better on paper, and a few neutral site games are the highlights. Pitt will Texas Tech in Brooklyn as a part of the Legends Classic on Monday, November 25th. The four-team tournament also features Stanford and Houston and will be featured on ESPN2 and ESPNU. Stanford is potentially a preseason top 25 team. Pitt will play its annual "City Game" with Duquesne on Saturday November 30 at the Consol Energy Center. That happens to fall on Thanksgiving weekend, and the football team will be hosting Miami the day before, so obviously a big holiday there. Pitt will face Penn State in front of an ESPNU audience on December 3. The big highlight of the nonconference schedule will be a matchup with former Big East foe, Cincinnati, at Madison Square Garden on December 17 as a part of the Jimmy V Classic.
Through the years, Pitt fans have been treated to tremendous games in the Big East with built up television spots, and it looks like there will be no shortage of that in the ACC. On Saturday January 18, Pitt will face Syracuse at the dome on ESPN. Pitt will see the Duke Blue Devils for the first time since Levance Fields decided to do this. The game will be featured on ESPN Big Monday. Perhaps, Pitt's toughest week will be when they will host Syracuse on Wednesday, February 12 at the Pete on ESPN then travel to Chapel Hill on Saturday for a CBS national TV date with the Tar Heels. Pitt also will close out the season with three out of four on the road, most notably a date with Notre Dame in South Bend on March 1.
Obviously, the ACC schedule is brutal and there appears to be no drop off from the Big East. The nonconference schedule looks better than last season, and it should help the Panthers in seeding for postseason play. The one glaring aspect missing is of course, the Big East tournament, but while the ACC tournament doesn't have New York, it will have plenty of talented teams.